Everything moved in the right direction at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training May 17 in Timonium, Md. The number of horses sold and gross revenue increased 7.9% and 23%, respectively, from a year ago. The average price and median price rose 14%, and 8%, respectively. And the buy-back rate dropped to 12.5% from 21.2% in 2009.
Another highlight of the sale was the $650,000 sale-topping price brought by a poised, elegant daughter of Medaglia d'Oro . The amount was a record for a female Thoroughbred sold at public auction in Maryland and was the second-highest price ever for a Thoroughbred sold at public auction in the state.
“It was a very strong sale; there were bidders at every level,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “It was the first time in quite some time that I’ve seen the depth of buyers that participated today, and the buy-back rate, which was indicative of that, was phenomenal. Horses traded in the $10,000 range, the $50,000 range, and the $100,000 range, and the big money was there for the right horses, too. It’s was a very vibrant market. It felt good leading up to the sale, and it felt even better today.”
The final results included a gross of $13,099,500 for the 273 horses that sold. The average was $47,984, and the median was $27,000.
“We’ve seen a little building of momentum throughout the 2-year-old marketplace this year,” Browning said. “I think people are more comfortable, generally speaking, with where they are finiancially. There is a higher level of confidence in the economy, and there is a little more stability in the world that we’re living in. This region still continues to feed (horses to) a number of very viable racetracks. It’s a combination of those factors.”
Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke, in the name of their Stonestreet Stables, purchased the record-setting Medaglia d’Oro filly. Browning, who kept in touch with key Stonestreet adviser, John Moynihan, via cell telephone, made the winning bid for the wine moguls, who are the principal owners of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (by Medaglia d’Oro). The immediate underbidder was New Jersey bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, who said he was representing Lewis Lakin and West Point Thoroughbreds. Chace opened the bidding at $300,000, and the price remained at that amount for a while before climbing to the unprecedented level.
“He (Moynihan) told me every time to bid,” Browning said. “I had no idea when he was going to start and when he was going to stop. All I was was the messenger.”
The filly is the first foal out of the stakes-winning Valid Expectations mare Chit Chat Pam. The bay juvenile worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 during the auction’s under tack show, sharing the fastest time for the distance with five other horses.
"She's a gorgeous filly, and Jess and Barbara like the stallion," Moynihan said in a telephone interview after daughter of Medaglia d’Oro sold. "She worked beautiful on that track, and it isn't easy to do that on that track."
Bradley Thoroughbred Brokerage, Cherokee Equine, and Pomerol Pty. Ltd. bred the filly in Kentucky.
“I’m talking from the sale company’s perspective not for him (Moynihan),” Browning said. "She’s by one of the best stallions in the world; she worked fabulously; she made a great video; and she looked the part at the end of the shank. She literally ticked all the boxes; she’s a beautiful horse.”
Eisaman Equine consigned the filly for the estate of Edmund Gann, who died in February. Gann, who raced Medaglia d’Oro, had purchased her privately when she was a yearling.
“She’s a good-minded, fast filly that’s the right sex by the right stallion,” Shari Eisaman said. “She brought a little more than we thought she would bring.”
The filly had a reserve. She was on the market at $200,000, according to Eisaman.
"Barry Eisaman breaks and trains horses for my friend Martin Cherry, and he (Eisaman) has been raving about her," said Moynihan, who saw the filly during a trip earlier this year to Central Florida. "That carried a lot of weight. He has a lot of horses to compare her to."
During the bidding, Moynihan was talking to Jackson on one phone and Browning on the other.
"When I heard it opened at $300,000, I thought, 'Oh boy, this isn't going to be easy,' " Moynihan said. "The price was high, but with that kind of filly you know it's going to be. A Limehouse filly brought $500,000 at OBS (Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.) in April, and a More Than Ready filly brought $650,000 at OBS in March. I thought it (the price for the Medaglia d'Oro filly) would be $500,000, but I didn't know how much more it would be. I was hoping that people had already filled all their orders (because the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale is later in the year than many other juvenile auctions)."
Doc Farone, a son of Tapit , was the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale’s most expensive colt and second-highest-priced horse overall, bringing $450,000 from Steve Young, agent. The handsome gray/roan juvenile, which is the second foal out of the winning Cherokee Run mare Prall Street, worked a quarter mile in :22 1/5. His other family members include grade II winner Rigamajig and grade III winner Public Account.
Young, who declined to reveal who would own Doc Farone, bought Trappe Shot, another son of Tapit, for Mill House stable for $850,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic juvenile sale. Trappe Shot is the highest-priced Thoroughbred in Maryland auction history.
Eddie Woods consigned Doc Farone for his breeders: Bill Graves, who is Fasig-Tipton’s vice president of recruiting and selections, and Dennis Lynch, who is a Fasig-Tipton account executive.